Crypto exchange Coinbase has opened the beta version of its NFT marketplace to a waitlist of 3 million users.
Launched on Apr. 20, Coinbase’s NFT platform has already been likened to a web3 Instagram as users can make profiles, follow accounts, browse a “For You” feed, and comment on NFTs.
In a blog post, Coinbase wrote that in the coming weeks, it’s “planning to add drops, minting, token-gated communities, and the option to buy NFTs with your Coinbase account or a credit card.” In addition, the platform will add support for NFTs on multiple chains and “intends to decentralize more features by moving them from Coinbase tech to decentralized solutions.”
In a press briefing Tuesday, Coinbase’s vice president of product Sanchan Saxena said, “This product is more than just buying and selling, it is about building your community. It is about making sure that you can connect and engage with them on the platform. […] It’s a very social marketplace.”
Now that Coinbase has a social NFT platform, they’ve inherited many of the ethical issues of social media. Saxena suggested that Coinbase will tread lightly on moderation.
“We will respect everything that’s legal, and ban anything that’s illegal in the United States of America. However, some other platforms have gone beyond that and started to interject their own perspective of what is good, and what is not. Coinbase will not be doing that,” he said.
Coinbase’s NFT platform supports any self-custody wallet, a decision made to create a “more open environment”. Coinbase’s NFT platform is starting off with zero transaction fees (minus Ethereum gas costs and creator royalties), but according to Saxena, they will soon implement a low fee in the single digits. This is in comparison to Meta’s plan to take 47.5% of NFT sales on their nascent metaverse platform – a plan that received backlash across the internet.
Coinbase faces fierce competition from marketplace leader OpenSea, but unlike Coinbase’s NFT platform, OpenSea does not let users comment on NFTs or follow profiles. It should also be noted that sales on OpenSea have dropped 67% in the last 30 days according to tracker DappRadar. OpenSea is not the only competitor though as a number of new NFT marketplaces have launched in recent months in an attempt to capture a piece of the burgeoning industry.
Within hours of Coinbase’s launch, NFT marketplace LooksRare launched a rewards program with the motto “List NFTs, Get Paid.” Under the new program, users who list NFTs from qualifying collections earn LOOKS tokens. In January, LooksRare airdropped tokens to high-volume OpenSea users in an attempt to convert them onto their platform.
Coinbase’s NFT platform will continue to open up and onboard more users over the next several weeks. An exact timeline has not been shared at this time.